To search for the intent, not mere keywords: for quite some time we insisted on this notion now, by talking about both SEO trendings and keyword research activity from a modern perspective, so we are glad (and quite proud) that even a field expert such as Bing’s Frédéric Dubut is highliting this factor as one of the main areas everyone should focus their sites’ optimization work in 2020.

The words of Bing’s Frédéric Dubut on keyword research trends

Partecipating as speaker at an SMX event, Dubut released a brief interview in which he highlights some SEO trends in 2020; in particular, this will be the year all SEO professionists must work in order to refine their activities of intent research, so to keep up with the latest developments in deep learning and natural language processing.

To focus on search intent and not only keywords

2020 is the year search engines are increasingly shifting their aim on search intent, says the important Bing representative, who then provides a quick overview of the evolution over the last few years. Since 2018 there has been continuous progress in the deep learning and natural language processing fields: Google recently announced the integration of BERT linguistic model within its search results, and Bing too uses a similar system for its queries.

SEOs must follow the evolution of search engines

This means that search engines are shifting from the mere reading of keywords to the actual interpretation of user intents at a more and more fast pace. The trend is destined to continue, so to allow search engines to better understand “what documents mean and perform better matchings” with users’ researches.

Dubut di Bing sulla keyword research

To change our keyword research practices

Dubut, Program Manager of Bing’s core search team, then offers his advice to the SEO community: “some of the current practices around keyword research are probably going to become obsolete and you will need to switch to intent research as a practice“. Suggestions that – if you let us quote ourselves for a moment! – exactly follow the direction took for quite some time now by SEOZoom’s tools of keyword research!

The answer of Google’s John Mueller

Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land asked for John Mueller’s opinion during last English Google Webmaster Central office-hours, trying to get which is Mountain View’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst (and, at large, the search engine) stand on this matter. Mueller was quite cautious and more realistic than Dubut and reminded us that “providing keywords to users is still the easier thing to do“.

Specifically, Mueller started off by ammitting he did not actually see Debut’s video nor read about his thought; but anyway, he believes that “there will always be at least some little room for the old keyword research, because you still have to practically supply users with these words“. Even if search engines are trying to understand more than mere words, “showing people specific terms can make a bit easier for them to figure out your page’s topic and, in some cases, can lead the whole process of conversion”.

Therefore, John Mueller thinks that the process of keyword research “will never completely go away”, but at the same time he is sure that search engines will constantly improve themselves in order to understand more than the sole words in a page, to then interpret the offered content in a more comprehensive way.